Introduction to Elementary Circuits

3rd - 5th

Students explore how a circuit works and create a circuit to use energy from a battery to light a bulb. In this introduction to circuits instructional activity, the students study the parts of a circuit and have a class discussion of what would happen if the circuit was not complete. Students incorporate a switch and learn how it affects the circuit.

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Inquiry-Based Learning

Two Button Buzzer Circuit

Students explore circuit structure, draw a schematic for it, and construct a two button buzzer model out of wires, a battery, buttons (switches), and a buzzer.

Battery Lesson Plan

Not really just a lesson plan, but a series of activities, reading handouts, and teacher's guidelines for conducting a class mini unit on the battery. Physical scientists focus on the history of the cell battery, experiment with battery-powered circuits, and examine the benefits of using rechargeable versions such as the nickel-cadmium cell. This is a comprehensive package that you will appreciate having available for your upper-elementary and middle school science classes.

Circuits and Conductors

Fourth graders investigate the concepts of circuits and conductors. In this circuits and conductors lesson set, 4th graders watch demonstrations of circuits and look at images to identify whether they are complete circuits. They test items to see if they are insulators or conductors of electricity and work with the concepts of switches.

Flashlights and Batteries

Students examine how batteries work, how they provide power to the simple circuit within the battery, and how the switch controls the flow of electrons; students then disassemble a flashlight, and draw a schematic of a flashlight's circuit design.

Completing the Circuit

Students use a battery, wires, small light bulb and a light bulb holder to learn the difference between an open circuit and a closed circuit, and understand that electric current only occurs in a closed circuit. They describe the transformations of energy that occur in the circuit and use correct operations and appropriate methods to solve Ohm's law problems.

This Little Light of Mine, Part I

Fifth graders investigate open and closed circuits. They construct open and closed circuit using a battery, wire, and a light bulb. After constructing the circuits, they write a short story from the point of view of a light bulb.

Lights On!

Students work together to build their own simple circuits. They discover how electricity is conducted through light bulbs. They compare and contrast the differences beween a parallel and series circuit.

Holiday Lights and Circuits

Students create a simple circuit using batteries, wires, and light bulbs. In this circuits lesson plan, students learn the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit and connect it to holiday lights they use in their home.

Let the Light Shine

Students investigate electrical circuits and complete related experiments. For this electrical circuit lesson, students play games online to review terms about electricity. Students work in groups to make a working circuit for a previous geometry construction.

This Little Light of Mine, Part I

Fifth graders investigate open and closed circuits by interacting with a Web site about circuits. They construct open and closed circuit using a battery, wire, and a light bulb.

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Sally P.
I find very helpful lessons that have already been tested.
Sally P.
Odessa, TX